Avista sues over Oregon’s ‘Climate Protection Program’

SALEM, Ore. – Avista utilities and other natural gas providers are suing Oregon over the state’s “Climate Protection Program.”

Late last year, Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission adopted rules establishing the CPP to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the effects of climate change. The regulations would apply to large stationary sources of natural gas, the transportation of fuels, and other liquid and gaseous fuels defined by the program.

After the CPP was created, Oregon EQC Chair Kathleen George stated, “We must act decisively and urgently to keep what makes Oregon so special – the fisheries, the farms, the snowy mountains, the forests and vineyards. So, guided by the best science, DEQ’s Climate Protection Program is a critical step forward to achieve deep, long-term reductions in Oregon greenhouse gas emissions, and to help strengthen climate resilience across the state. This is a historic opportunity to be leaders in creating a resilient economy that is decreasingly reliant on fossil fuels.”

On March 18, 2022, Avista, along with NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas, filed for a judicial review of the CPP, challenging the authority of Oregon DEQ’s enactment and enforcement of the rules.

“Avista is committed to a greener future and decarbonization. This is why we and our partner utilities participated in the rulemaking process as the CPP was developed to help shape policy that would effectively move us toward lower emissions while maintaining affordability and reliability for those we serve,” Avista president and CEO Dennis Vermillion said. “Unfortunately, the CPP does not reflect our feedback or collaborative efforts, and it is not a constructive pathway for reducing emissions. We are disappointed in the outcome and the negative impact it will have on our customers.  It will increase their cost of energy and may ultimately inconvenience them by causing them to replace their natural gas heating systems and appliances. Our customers value energy choice. This is why we are taking this legal action now.”

Avista said while the challenge works its way through the judicial system, it will take “all necessary steps.” To comply with the CPP.

For more information about Oregon CPP, visit https://www.oregon.gov/deq/ghgp/pages/climate-protection.aspx

Avista’s full statement can be found here: https://investor.avistacorp.com/news-releases/news-release-details/avista-and-partner-utilities-oregon-file-lawsuit-challenging

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